“What then, is flattery?…The decisive element is this: having an ulterior motive. I address the other not simply to please him or to tell him something that is true. Rather, what I say to him is designed to get something from him!…His dignity is ignored…in order to manipulate him for my purposes.
…Is there still any area of life at all free of it–any corner where I am spared such flattery as is designed to manipulate me–to make me buy something, for instance?”
—Joseph Pieper, Abuse of Language–Abuse of Power
In how many ways are my words nothing but “speech without a partner?”
This post is part of a series (see A Lenten Invitation from a Babbling Brook: Focus on Speech and Silence). To receive new installments, you’re invited to Follow Sparrowfare by placing your email address in the box in the right sidebar (mobile users will find it below). We’d love to have you join us in sharing the quotes that speak to you.